Friday, May 31, 2013

Need a new sign for the garage!

I spotted this sign on Ebay for sale and told Dixie it was the perfect sign for me. It matches my anti social behavior a little too well. Ha Ha If I wasn't so cheap I would buy it for the garage!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Suboobaru Inner Tie Rod Replacement.

I have a Subaru in the shop that needs some suspension work. It needs an inner tie rod changed and 2 wheel bearings replaced. I had a little bit of time so I figured I would bring it in and start on it. I will let you figure out why my post is titled the way it is.
 The tie rod is really easy to change. First thing to do is jack it up and support it on a jack stand. Pull the wheel off and pop the outer tie rod out of the steering knuckle. I find that the best way to get these out without damaging anything is to hit it with a hammer or rivet gun right on the side of the knuckle. They will usually pop right out and you don't damage the threads of the tie rod or damage the boot as you sometimes do with a pickle fork. I just used a hammer with this one because the outer tie rod was replaced recently.
 Next remove the clamps that hold the boot on. This one had a shield on the outer side of the boot that was held on by 2 bolts. Remove all that and slide the boot to the outer side of the tie rod. This will expose the flats so you can remove the inner tie rod. Wipe the grease off them so you can get a good grip on it with a tool. They make a special tool to remove inner tie rods. I don't own that tool so I didn't use it. They rent them at the popular auto part stores for free if you really need it. You can also use a crows foot and a long extension or just a wrench if you can get on it. I was able to get a regular wrench on this one and it came off really easy.
 Here it is out of the car. Remove the outer tie rod (You can do this while it is in the car if you want) and slide the bellows off.
Dixie came out to spend some time with me. It was nice having the company. I didn't even get mad and hit her with a wrench on accident like I did when we were first married. I have a lot more patience and wisdom than I did back then.
 Install the inner tie rod by twisting it on. I used high strength Loctite because I don't plan on doing this job again and I don't want it coming off while it is being driven.
 Install grease on the end of the ball before you completely install the bellows. Install the bellows and your outer tie rod and your ready to rock and roll. I measure the length of the old tie rod and match it with the new one so the alignment is somewhat close. It will still need an alignment done by a professional shop but this will get you by until you can get it there.
 Put everything back on and your done. It is a really easy job and can be accomplished rather quickly.
The next job for this car is a front and rear wheel bearing. They might suck because I need to remove the hub and press the bearings out at work. Hopefully everything goes smoothly. If you need to do that on your Subaru check back and I will show you how it worked for me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ellie and I installed the narrowed beam in Ed.

I set off to install the new narrowed adjustable beam in Ed today and almost got it all finished. I spent most of the morning installing the torsion springs and then looking for the lower bolt and adjuster. I was going nuts because I knew the adjuster had come apart when I bought the beam and I couldn't find it. I was given a new adjuster so I could just throw on the parts I needed. The only problem was that the new adjuster had a smaller bolt and the teeth on the adjuster didn't match up with the plate that was welded onto the beam. That meant that I HAD to find the parts that were originally on the beam. I searched my garage, the bug, my truck and everywhere else I thought it might be. I finally found the parts mixed in with the torsion springs that I had put in bags because they were greasy. AARRGG. I get so frustrated when I can't find stuff in my garage. It makes me want to get more organized. OK, back to the beam. Here are the 2 beams I am working with. The one on the right is the new beam and the one on the left is the beam I am replacing. The new one is narrowed 2 inches and it has adjusters installed in it so I can lower the bug more.

 The new beam has Avis adjusters installed in it. I have never used these adjusters so I will let you know what I think of them at a later day. I have always used sway a way adjusters in the past and have been pretty happy with them. The Avis adjusters are definitely easier to install then the sway a way but they both will require welding. Here are the Avis adjusters.
 I had to remove the steering box and swap it over to the new beam. It is fairly self explanatory.
 The torsion springs are installed. I like to grease each spring individually and then install them one by one. I fought the lower ones a little bit but I managed to get them installed without much aggravation.
Ellie woke up from her nap and came out to help me install the beam in the car. She ran the jack for awhile and helped me read the manual. You can see her excitement here.
 I was reading the manual getting some torques and Ellie decided she needed her own manual. She ran to her room and brought out her "manual". It had princesses but it worked for her.
It's hard to see much difference in the 2 beams from this picture but there is.
 I had a heck of a time installing it. Ed was hit in the front at some time and that didn't help. The shock tower is pretty much riding on the side of the body of the bug here. When the front end was hit it bowed out the sides of the body and it made it harder to fit the beam. I am glad I didn't get a beam that was narrowed more then 2 inches. I had to customize the sides to get the beam to fit. A little massaging and it fit in.
 Here the beam is installed and now I am starting to put on the torsion arms. This picture doesn't do it justice but the beam is right next to the body. Hopefully the 2 inches will allow me to lower the bug and not have any issues with the tires rubbing.
 Getting there. This is where I ended the day. The tie rods are installed and the steering box is adjusted. I need to adjust the tie rods. I can get the alignment pretty close with my string method but I will get it aligned professionally to get everything dialed in. I also need to install the shocks, and wheels, then put it on the ground and fine tune the adjusters. I am expecting it to be pretty low. Lower then it ever has been. Hopefully I won't have to lower the back end to even it out. Ha Ha.
Everything is mocked up under the gas tank ready to get adjusted. Hopefully this week Ed will be back on the ground. I already miss driving it.
I am starting to get backed up again in the shop. I have Dixie's van struts, a Subaru in my driveway that needs wheel bearings and an inner tie rod replaced, a Honda CRX that needs a complete front end rebuilt and a weed whacker that needs it's carb rebuilt. Whew, never much down time to get organized. Check back to see if anything gets done.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

 On Monday I ordered all 4 struts, strut mounts,  stabilizer links, bushings, front bellows, intake gaskets and the valve cover gaskets for Dixie's van. I need to change the struts and adjust the valves on the van. I received all the parts I ordered via Fed Ex on Friday. I took Ed down to get the safety and emission inspections done this morning  and then helped Dixie at a yard sale she was participating in. We all just managed to get wet at the yard sale. I came home and with the rain my motivation level was pretty low. I finally dragged myself out to the garage in the afternoon just as the sun came out and then it was decision time. Here are the struts for Dixie's van. KYB was the best option available on the market.  
 Here was my dilemma. Work on the van OR work on Ed. HMMMMM, Decisions, decisions!
 This was a no brainer. Ed's front end really needs to be changed out so he can get his cool stance back. I bought a 2 inch narrowed front beam with adjusters a couple months ago and I was just dying to get it installed. Here is how Ed is sitting right now. If you haven't been following this blog, Ed is my bug and he was a lot lower before. I had a stock width front end that had adjusters in it and lowered spindles. It was as low as I could go without rubbing the front tires. I ended up hitting a big metal plate that construction crews used to cover holes in the road temporarily and it bent the front beam. I wanted to get back on the road fast so I picked up a beam without adjusters, put on my lowered spindles and pulled some leaves out of it to try to get it lower. It was OK, to high for my liking but at least it got me back on the road. I had a complete front end with lowered spindles and adjusters kind of fall into my lap so I snatched it up and here we are.  
 Right now I am sitting about 6 1/2 inches off the ground with the front apron. It will be interesting to see where it will sit when the new beam is installed.
I wanted to get the old beam out so the car will be ready for the new beam. The first step is to get it up on jack stands and pull the wheels off.
 I purposely ran the gas tank down to where I was running on fumes because I knew I was going to pull it. That's the next step. Don't try to do it with the gas tank installed. It is a lot easier and faster to just remove the tank. Ask me how I know that! Ha Ha. With the gas tank removed you have access to the steering coupling, tie rods, and steering stabilizer.
 Remove the tie rods, stabilizer, and disconnect the steering shaft.
 Remove the shocks. I am going to run my lowered spindles so I pulled the torsion arms out of the front beam and left my brake line hooked up to make it easier. If you plan on doing this, you need to disconnect your upper ball joint. The lower ball joint will remain connected to the spindle and drum.

Here is the view from the right side. The beam is now ready to be unbolted and removed. Put a jack under the beam and remove the 4 bolts from the front of the beam. Now remove the 2 bolts on the upper side of the beam that go through the body. The beam is now just being held up by the jack.
 I find it easiest to grab the beam by the shock tower and lower it with the jack. Make sure you pull it forward a little bit to clear the frame head. It's pretty light so it should come out easily. Here it is lowered and on the ground.
 Now just drag it out from underneath the car. Easy as pie.
 I need to get the other beam ready to install by switching over the steering box and installing the torsion leaves.
Now I did do SOME work on Dixie's van. I replaced the rear shocks. I am actually putting off changing the front struts because my alignment shop can't get me in for an alignment until June 13th. I don't really want to drive for a month without an alignment. I figured the rear shocks would be OK to change. The rear shocks on this van are as easy to change as the rear brake pads. Super, Super Easy! Jack up the van using the side support that is meant to be jacked on. Throw a jack stand under it and remove the wheel. Next remove 1 bolt and 1 nut from the shock.
 Here is the bolt. It is on the top of the shock. The nut on the back is welded on so don't worry about putting a wrench on it.
 Here is the nut. It is on the lower side of the shock. Keep an eye on which way the washer is facing so you can put it back together correctly. If your lucky like I was the shock should come right off. If your unlucky it might be corroded on. If it is use some penetrating oil and a little persuasion to remove it. Our shocks weren't in terrible shape but there were enough miles on the van that they needed to be changed.
 I used a corrosion inhibitor on the bolt and bottom support so if I need to do this again in another 110,000 miles the shocks will come off. I installed the bottom part of the shock first and then jacked up the axle just a little bit so everything would fit nicely. I then cut the strap on the new shock and guided it into the spot and threw the bolt in. Torque both the bolt and the nut to 47 foot lbs.
Here is the new shock installed and ready to go. Throw the wheel on, torque the lug nuts to 80 foot lbs, and take it for a test spin. Some people complain about the KYB's being kind of stiff. I thought they felt great.
The front struts are the ones that really need to be replaced. The strut mounts are making noise and the struts are pretty bouncy on certain roads. I will be changing them in a couple weeks. It doesn't look like it will be a bad job to do. I have a good spring compressor so that makes things a lot easier. Check back to see which gets done first. The car or the van. Ha Ha.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Guess it's time for new tires.

I wanted to get Ed registered this weekend so I planned on driving down and getting the safety and emission inspection done on him Friday. I knew my tires were getting low on tread so I figured I would look at them before I drove there. This is what I found. Dang, so instead of getting the bug registered I spent some time locating tires it.
 I planned on just buying the tires and then mounting them myself. I did that last time and it worked out pretty good. I got Ed up on jack stands and pulled the tires.
I ran down to the Discount tires by my house today and waited in line for awhile. I got irritated at the wait and so I left. I decided to go to the Discount I usually go to and the one I like in Kearns and I was glad I did. There was no line there and I got a smoking deal on my bugs tires AND new tires for Dixie's van. I walked away with tires for both cars for 200 dollars less than I had planned to spend on tires for Dixie's van alone. Not only that but they mounted and balanced the bug tires for free. I scored on this one. Maybe new tires on Dixie's van will count as my mothers day present to her. Ha Ha. It did put me in a little bind though because now I need to install struts and get the van aligned before too long so the new tires don't start to wear funny. I guess that's the next project. The front end of the bug will have to wait yet again! If you need to learn how to install struts on a Honda Odyssey check back. It will be on here shortly.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Playing with the shop's logo.

I have been wanting to get a logo for Olson's Speed Shop since I came up with the idea for the shop. I have no artistic ability and I couldn't get anyone to sketch me out some logos even with some bribing with cold hard cash. My friend found out and he asked if he could draw some sketches. I was ecstatic. I told him heck ya, I would love that. He came up with some awesome logo's. They are all super cool and I will probably use them all at some time. Here they are. Let me know which one is your favorite!

This one has a 57 Chevy look to it.
 This is cool because it has a 32 Ford on it, the pistons represent a horizontal engine like a VW's and it is wrapped up in a big white wall tire like the 50's customs I love.
 This is Dixie's favorite. It has a flat head V8 and it definitely resembles the awesome signs that were on Route 66 back in the day.
 This one would look awesome on the wall of the shop. I love the piston and the 4 speed shift pattern.
This ones cool. It has the big block flags that Chevy used, a piston and the V that Fords used for their V8. I like the automobile logos on the flag also. It would match the shop because we service basically anything with an engine.
 This has the International symbol integrated with it which would fit right in with the shop truck.
 I absolutely love all of them. I can see them on shirts and hats and on the side of the shop truck. Now I just have to decide on which ones and where to use them. Thanks again Vance for the cool logos. If I ever get shirts made you are getting the first one! They are exactly what I was looking for.

On a side note, Ellie and I went to a cruise night tonight at the Arctic Circle. It was lots of fun and when she saw this car she would not leave it without me taking her picture. Here it is. Ha Ha. It matches her outfit.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Saturn is signed, sealed, and almost delivered!

So I missed my goal to get the Saturn finished by a week. I did have a good excuse though. I picked up a truck for the shop and in the process, I hurt my back. I wanted to have the Saturn finished last Saturday but there was no way I was going to be able to go out in the garage and crawl around with my back feeling the way it was. I even delegated my mowing to Steven. I love mowing the grass and that's one of the reasons I haven't had either of my boys mow it. I was in enough pain to pass the lawn mowing baton to Steven. For last week anyways. Here is Steven mowing. He did an awesome job and was a big help to me. Our lawn was really long and so it had to be mowed.
I was able to button up the engine by putting on the intake and exhaust manifold, the valve cover and a few other things. It was ready and waiting to be installed just in time for Friday.
I left the plugs out until the engine was installed so that it would turn over easier when I was hooking up the torque converter. I also took some time and cleaned out the intake and throttle body. I was glad I did because it was FILTHY. I am not talking a little dirty, I am talking FILTHY. It made my solvent in my solvent tank pretty dirty. I installed a new gasket on the throttle body and torqued everything down.
I still left the crank pulley off so I could have a little extra wiggle room for the install.
I actually pushed the car into the garage when I unloaded the truck last Friday so it was ready to go. I had Dixie help me pull the hood off and got the engine compartment ready.
I decided to try my newly designed load leveler out for the first time. Here you can see it installed and I had plenty of height to install the engine even with the car jacked up.
Getting it into position. I opted to leave the starter on even though it was fairly tight when I pulled the engine out. It went in just fine. I installed it myself but if you had another person it would help.
You have to make sure you have everything lined up underneath. If your using a cherry picker you need to snake it in between the jack stands and the floor jack that is supporting the transmission up. It's tight but it will work.
Be really careful on the firewall and the throttle body. It is pretty tight here and the intake manifold is plastic. It is possible to break things if your not careful.
The load leveler worked like a charm. If you want to see what modifications I did to mine look back a few posts. I have it all there.
Here is the front of the car. It's a little tight here also. I kept the radiator and the fans in. If you took them out you would have room to spare. It just adds up to more work though and it is very doable to get the engine out and in with them still installed.
Here it is with the bell housing bolted together and the engine mounts installed. Just need to install the spark plugs and the crank pulley.
Fast forward to the finished product. I forgot to take any more pictures along the way. The engine actually looks better than this. I cleaned it up a little more before I put the hood on. The engine runs great. I had one unusual cough right after I started it up and then it smoothed out and runs good. It has good power and is pretty quiet when running. It should be good for another 150,000 miles.
The owner is coming to pick it up in the morning. It will be a good thing because the driveway is getting pretty full. I don't want the neighbors complaining.
I pretty much finished it up Friday. I just had to install the hood today so I had time to mow my lawn. I then changed the oil and sharpened the blade on the mower. I also cleaned up the garage. It's always nice to finish up a big project like this. It's even nicer when everything runs like it should. More projects for the shop to come.